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18 Jul 2014 - 01:56:28 pm

AOR - L.A Connection (2014)

AOR - L.A Connection (2014) full 

Frédéric Slama started the AOR project almost 15 years ago featuring star vocalists from the genre for his 'L.A.' records, offering over the years some truly great material. 
Since the last three CD's the quality has been slightly decreasing, but I'm happy to say that in the new album "L.A Connection" (no dot in the 'A' ?), Slama has produced one of the more consistent AOR albums to date.

Helped by Swedish magician Tommy Denander, on "L.A Connection" the old Westcoast sounds from the beginnings of the AOR project practically disappeared.
AOR 2014 is absolutely Melodic Hard Rock oriented, this time featuring the guest contributions from the likes of Bill Champlin (Chicago) and his wife Tamara, Bob Harris (Axe), Philip Bardowell (Places Of Power, Unruly Child), Paul Sabu (Only Child, Kidd Glove), Jeff Paris or David Forbes (Boulevard). 
'Only' nine songs have been included on the album, and this benefits the record, as all are good avoiding some fillers present on previous releases.

All starts with “On The Edge Of Glory”, enriched with Bill Champlin’s trademark vocals (more rough than usual, and I like it) and a strong guitar riff and punchy keyboards. 
The first seconds of the second track, “The Pride Of Strangers,” leave no doubt to those who are familiar with the recordings of Only Child or Kidd Glove – this raspy, sensual and very powerful voice belongs to no one else but the mighty Paul Sabu. This fiery vocal performance of him is, without a doubt, one of the highlights of the entire album.
More mellow, but nevertheless perfectly melodic is “Closer To Zero” with David Forbes (Boulevard) singing lead. 

Its follow-up is “Once Off Guard,” largely anticipated by the fans of the project (and the genre) because of the announced contribution of Jeff Paris. This is another highlight of the album, not only because of the Paris’ vocal input but also a blistering guitar solo.
In “Lost Souls Don’t Cry,” sung by Philip Bardowell, some distant echoes of Giant and Foreigner can be heard. Further on, you’ll find some other flavors, as the perfect groove of “Exiled In Sadness” or the keyboard-driven “Age Of Desire”, the more AOR (genre) song on offer here.

The next “Circle Of Danger” is embellished with the solid and emotional performance of Tamara Champlin, this time the only woman behind the microphone in the AOR project – as well as a solid portion of Tommy Denander’s guitar licks. 
“The Crystal Heart,” a nostalgic and reflective ballad sung by Bob Harris, closes the album on a very high note.

"L.A Connection" is the thirteenth album in Frédéric Slama’s AOR discography – and a clear proof that all the superstition regarding the unluckiness of the number '13' is much hyped anyway! 
At least, for the Melodic Hard Rock and AOR fans who are treated with a high quality performance and top production on this fresh AOR record, perhaps the best on the entire Slama recording history.
Much Recommended.


01. On The Edge Of Glory (Bill Champlin)
02. The Pride Of Strangers (Paul Sabu)
03. Closer To Zero (David Forbes)
04. Once Off Guard (Jeff Paris)
05. Lost Souls Don’t Cry (Philip Bardowell)
06. Exiled In Sadness (Sherwood Ball)
07. Age Of Desire (Rick Riso)
08. Circle Of Danger (Tamara Champlin)
09. The Crystal Heart (Bob Harris)

Frédéric Slama (guitar, keyboards)
Tommy Denander (all instruments)
Colin Rodgers (guitar, bass)
Pat Thern (drums)
Pete Newdeck (backing vocals)

Lead Singers:
Bill Champlin (Chicago)
Paul Sabu (Only Child, Kidd Glove)
Jeff Paris 
Sherwood Ball (Jay Graydon)
David Forbes (Boulevard)
Philip Bardowell (Places Of Power, Unruly Child)
.
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http://vanishednot.blogsfan.net/0dRck-b1/AOR-LA-Connection-2014-b1-p196.htm

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